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Insomnia, Side Effects, PICC Line & Fundraiser.


I woke up at 4 am this morning and then tried to go back to sleep for nearly two hours before giving up and starting to write this blog post as I thought it's probably better to be productive than lie there waiting for elusive sleep to take place.


The problem is that in the middle of the night, the hot flushes that my Zoladex Implant injection cause, are more active and I often wake up completely overheated which is so uncomfortable and nothing seems to cool me down. Then of course because I'm kept awake by being boiling, my tired, bored brain starts to chatter about all sorts of unhelpful things. I'm not stressed and actually feel quite calm but my thoughts these days always seem to gravitate towards the job searching I've been doing while still slogging through chemotherapy as it's my goal to try to find a more secure and dependable source of income once my cancer is beaten in September. The only frustration during this job search has been that in all of my applications, I have to list any gaps in employment and end up having to put that for most of this year, I've been fighting triple negative breast cancer and haven't been able to work. I'm sure even in this overly conscious world where equality is pushed for in many companies, hiring a cancer fighter soon to be survivor is not the top priority.


Aside from mindless job searches, I think my PICC line is infected and I've asked my boyfriend to drive me to the hospital today to get it checked out. Interestingly and bafflingly, I'm not worried about the possibility of infection but rather the fact I'm asking my boyfriend to drive me 2 hours each way after a weekend where he's worked a lot and would normally be going to visit his parents today rather than spend more petrol money on getting me to a hospital and waiting around for me when he'd probably enjoy having proper rest. So I'm contemplating taking an Uber which will cost me nearly £60 just one way. In this way, I do feel like a burden as it would be helpful if I had a car which of course would mean it would be helpful if I had a reliable job to pay for this car, which means my mind cycles back to why I can't find a job and should I mention or not mention cancer.


Last week, my side effects were so painful (bone pain) that I called up the hospital and flatly refused to take the rest of my Filgrastim injections. I still had 2 more injections left for the week but after just three days of unrelenting bone pain that made my body go into spasms, I put my foot down and refused to take another injection. They agreed that it was no way to live if I was forced to stand most of the time because bone pain was too intense to let me lie, sit or lean on anything. The Co-Codamol that they gave me and the Codeine that I'd had from before, didn't even touch the pain but resulted in a messed up digestive system and feeling drugged all day. So it's possible that without those injections, I could be neutropenic and it could explain the drainage coming out of my PICC line incision.


So here I am, writing this at the crack of dawn on Monday morning, thinking that my PICC line issues will mess up this weeks schedule by making me have a flush 2 days too soon (I usually get the PICC line flushed every Wednesday), cause my boyfriend to drive too much in one week and all because of my many medical issues which have invaded his life and constantly remind me that I want a reliable job so that I can finally rely on myself for a change instead of everyone else who have done so much for me already!


On this topic, I created a GoFundMe Fundraiser for helping with finances as I finish treatment and head towards healing from cancer and have been amazed by how many people have donated and show such incredible generosity and caring for me which is already a very humbling experience! A friend encouraged me to start this fundraiser after I shared how challenging it's been trying to find days when I'm well enough to call up the government benefits system to try to get better benefits to cover all the costs we have been struggling to cover since I was diagnosed. I've tried to teach on the days when I have felt well enough to teach but it's been a struggle to have the mental capacity to work as well as timing it with feeling less ill so that I can teach with a clear working brain.


I'm really hoping to teach more starting in October when all my treatments and surgery are behind me and have even added a series of teaching dates and times where people can book if interested in art lessons. So far, no takers but it's early days, so hopefully in a few months. I do feel, though that teaching is dwindling as a career option for me as freelance teaching though fun, doesn't pay the bills and at some point I know I'll have to choose between what's fun and what's practical. Somehow after I beat cancer, I've got to be employed in something that will be well paid and steady work that I can depend on so that eventually in a few months, I'll be able to rent a place of my own instead of living as a lodger which has got to stop. I need stability and my own home. I also need hair, no hot flushes, better sleep and a social life....oh and to be cancer free would be nice too!


So if you're reading this nonsense collection of words and can relate to anything or want to contribute to my GoFundMe Fundraiser then click the links provided and know that every penny helps me survive and helps my boyfriend pay for all the transportation expenses too.


In an effort to help my mum with her finances as she helps me get through the side effects of chemo, I've set up an online Zoom class for her to teach which is this coming Saturday 7th of August at 2 pm. My mum has sacrificed so much to be here with me while I fight cancer - she's travelled from Texas to England, rented a little flat where my boyfriend and I live and has been cooking healthy nutritious meals for me so that I get all the nutrients I need. She's rented out her house in Texas and has given up a college teaching job in Texas which would have been her main financial income so she's out of pocket while she's here helping me. If you're interested in joining my mums online Zoom art class this coming Saturday then please click through to, "Collage Creations with Artist, Juliette McCullough" to sign up. Ideally, we would like to have at least 2 more students attending so please join in if you can! It's perfect for beginners and you don't need to have all the art supplies.


This coming Wednesday on the 4th of August, I'll have another scan to see if my tumour has shrunk which I'm fairly certain it has as I've taken a beating from the last chemo which means it must have been hell for the tumour! So fingers crossed for Wednesday as I'm confident it's shrunk but would love some extra positive vibes sent my way if you're willing to share!


The sun has risen, so I'm going to get breakfast and wait for the world to wake up. I hope you all have a lovely start to the week too, with potentially better sleep than me!


#insomnia #Piccline #chemo #sideeffects #gofundme #fundraiser #art #artist #fightingcancer #feelingtired #collage #zoom #artclass #drivingcosts #bookaclass #zoladex #menopause #hotflushes #thankyou





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